Sep 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 151.  I’ve only had a couple hours of sleep since yesterday morning.  I just can’t get to sleep.  I have no idea why.  I have to be up early tomorrow for physical therapy, and that will wipe out my research time, so expect a Personal Update only on Saturday morning.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:07 (average 4:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Two days after voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a law that would help women to obtain equal pay, the four female Republicans in the United States Senate co-sponsored a bill that would slash their salaries to seventy-one per cent of what their male colleagues earn.

The senators—Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)—said that the best way to take a stand against big government’s intrusive attempts to mandate equal pay for women was to take a twenty-nine-per-cent pay cut themselves.

“The days of the federal government forcing us to earn as much as male senators are over,” Ayotte said. “We will not stop fighting until we make twenty-nine per cent less.”

Fischer said that after voting down paycheck equity for women across America, the female Republican senators realized that they themselves were “burdened by the tyranny of equal pay” in the U.S. Senate.

LOL Andy! Fat chance! With Republicans, deprivation is for the rest of us only, never for them!

From Daily Kos: Noxious fundamentalist gasbag Bryan Fischer has come up with a bizarre new definition of a ‘Christian’ nation: it’s one where you can buy bacon. According to Fischer:

Barf Bag Alert!

 

What an idiot! According to him, India is a Christian nation. Bacon is on the menu there, but it’s Hindu.  Lets also not forget places where Buddhism is the dominant religion.

From NY Times: An unusual but overwhelming coalition in the House voted Wednesday to authorize the training and arming of Syrian rebels to confront the militant Islamic State, backing President Obama after he personally pleaded for support.

The 273-to-156 vote was over a narrow military measure with no money attached, but it took on outsize importance and was infused with drama, reflecting the tension and ambiguity of members wary of the ultimate path to which any war vote could lead.

There was rare unity between House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, who strongly backed the training legislation and sought to portray it as a modest measure. And the opposition included the equally unlikely pairings of antiwar Democrats and hawkish Republicans.

Of course most Republicans support a measure that uses taxpayer dollars to buy weapons from military contractors to arm the rebels. I see a problem, because there is no money attached. How much do you want to bet that Republican’s will want cuts in spending for poor and middle class necessities to balance the cost of funding it?

Cartoon:

0919Cartoon

Share
Sep 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow day 150.  I’m waiting for my groceries to arrive.  I plugged in my notebook, which I have not used since the last time I overnighted in Salem.  Fortunately I timed a Windows Update, so that’s done.  It took over two hours just to download the updates.  Then I updated my AV software, my security software, my password manager three browsers and several other utilities.  Fortunately I was able to do research while a lot of that was going on.  Tomorrow’s main chore is reconfiguring the email client to the new HSP settings.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:24 (average 6:05).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In what Secretary of State John Kerry described as a significant foreign-policy coup, the U.S. claimed, on Tuesday, that it had successfully located a moderate Syrian rebel.

Though Kerry did not elaborate on how the U.S. did so, he said that locating the rebel was “the culmination of a months-long effort.”

The Secretary of State said that the Syrian had been appropriately vetted and was deemed “moderately rebellious.”

“He definitely seems to be the sort of gentleman we can work with,” Kerry said, adding that several millions of dollars would be spent arming and training the rebel in the days and weeks ahead.

Kerry said that the government’s successful identification of a moderate Syrian rebel was a major victory that should silence critics of the U.S.’s strategy in Iraq and Syria.

Hmmmmm, Andy… I don’t see it working, unless he has a friend.

From NY Times: President Obama’s top military adviser said Tuesday that he would recommend deploying United States forces in ground operations against Islamic extremists in Iraq if airstrikes proved insufficient, opening the door to a riskier, more expansive American combat role than the president has publicly outlined.

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that while he was confident that an American-led coalition would defeat the Islamic State, he would not foreclose the possibility of asking Mr. Obama to send American troops to fight the militants on the ground — something Mr. Obama has ruled out.

This is not the scandal Republicans claim it is, nor does it indicate what Obama actually would decide. Asking a general about the use of troops is like asking a carpenter about the use of a hammer.

From Upworthy: Vicky Beeching is an artist, broadcaster, and theologian. And this, on Channel 4 news, was her first TV interview after coming out. She’s now speaking at the Gay Christian Network and continuing to share her beliefs about being Christian and gay.

Semi-Barf Bag Alert!

 

Scott Lively is a leader of The Family and C Street. He is lying about Uganda. He organized C Street Republican Senators and Representatives to help draft legislation to execute gay people there, apparently intending it as a test for future implementation here, when they have dominion.  Lively is putting on a far less rabid public face than his actual practices indicate.  There was only one Christian in that discussion, Vicky.

Cartoon:

0918Cartoon

Share
Sep 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow day 149.  I need to get busy to prepare my notebook for next week’s Salem trip, and I have a grocery delivery coming tomorrow, so I remain quite busy.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends:

Scores:

2Scores

Standings:

2Standings

If you wish to follow our league, you may do so here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of the South, a theocratic, White nationalist group based in Killen, Alabama

Some of its leading members have been running for office in Maryland.  And League president Michael Hill has gone so far as to call for the formation of paramilitary death squads. He now claims that he wasn’t doing any such thing, but that if he were, we would just have to find out for ourselves. (We, being liberal "bedwetters.")

Anyway, as it turned out, just around the time Hill was protesting too much, the Southern Poverty Law Center learned that the League was indeed organizing a secret paramilitary unit which calls itself "The Indomitables." 

ISIL… Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian version!

From Crooks and Liars: Once again, the ladies and gentlemen of our Corporate Media show how very out of touch they are with those who don’t travel in the same rarefied circles.

In keeping with their self-appointed roles as political gatekeepers, Mrs. Greenspan and Chris Cillizza quickly discount the report from reporter Perry Bacon Jr., in which he says Democrats are expressing doubts that Hillary Clinton is liberal enough for them.

The marquee stars quickly discount that. Mrs. Greenspan notes that while getting 350 people to come out to an Iowa church basement, as Bernie Sanders did, is "a lot," she and Cillizza quickly discount him because blah blah blah, he can’t raise the big money that an Elizabeth Warren can.

 

And this is the network Republicans claim is all librul.

From TPM: Liberal comedian Bill Maher confessed that he’s not actually an atheist in a Monday Funny Or Die video.

He said that he just plays an atheist and is actually quite religious.

 

Do you think we should believe him?

Cartoon:

0917Cartoon

Originally posted 9/17/2011.

Share
Sep 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 148.  Yesterday’s change in schedule did me in totally.  By the time Midnight arrived, my face was hovering over the keyboard.  I had a decent night’s sleep, so I’m feeling half-human again.  I was most pleased (not to mention relieved) with the Broncos’ win.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Liberals Unite: Friday night in a live show, Bill Maher talked about the polarization currently in this country. He said that the main reason for this polarization was Fox News.

 

Was the Republican fool outmatched or what?

From Upworthy: This video is chock-full-o hilariously absurd questions, right? The questions sound absurd because it’s strange to ask them. Lesbians are asked these questions all the time.

 

Personally, I have been "guilty" of telling gay and lesbian people that I support their rights. On the other hand, with Republicans trying so hard to take those rights away, perhaps LGBT folks need all the "guilty" supporters they can get.

From Daily Kos Elections Digest: NH-02: Well, the Club for Growth sure drafted quite the piece of work up in New Hampshire. State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, who just won the GOP primary to take on Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster, absolutely loves to holler about how awful Obamacare is, which is exactly what you’d expect from a cookie-cutter tea partier nominated with hefty Club support. Only the local public radio station just managed to get Garcia to choke pretty hard on those cookie crumbs:

But when asked about her own health care coverage, Garcia demurred.

Garcia: "I… that’s my own issue."

NHPR: "So you don’t want to say?"

Garcia: "No that’s fine, I don’t need to share everything."

NHPR: "I bet it will come up again. Probably that’s something the media will want to know, with you making health care an issue in your campaign."

Garcia: "My constituents talk to me so I am not here running on my own issues. I am expressing what they come up with."

NHPR: "Is it fair to say you are not getting your health care through Obamacare, through the (federal) exchange?"

Garcia: "I don’t need to talk about that. Thank you."

Oh! Oh, but you do! You do need to talk about that, Rep. Garcia, because if you’re trashing our current health care system, you need to explain what your alternatives are. And if your personal "alternative" is, in fact, Obamacare, then your would-be constituents deserve to know. Garcia’s campaign claimed after this disastrous interview that no, she’s not covered under the Affordable Care Act, but if that’s the case, why couldn’t she just explain that at the time? And has she provided any proof? No, this one’s not going to go away quite as readily as Garcia wishes.

Republicans figure that they deserve the benefits, but YOU don’t.

Cartoon:

0916Cartoon

Because the Republican Party was not in charge, the crew and passengers did not starve to death on the way.

Share
Sep 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 147.  It’s been a long, busy day.  The friend that I pay to help me with the heavy cleaning  contacted me last night and asked if she could come a day early.  She actually showed up on time, something she has never done before, and that caught me by surprise.  I missed my morning sleep.  I had a brief cat nap after watching the Broncos, but I’m still very tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:30 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

09014-Broncos24-Chiefs17

What a magnificent Orb it is!

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: President Obama has had two sleepless nights since learning that Rush Limbaugh praised his speech about Iraq and Syria this week, a White House source confirmed on Saturday.

According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the President has been unable to sleep since Limbaugh complimented him on the air and has been seen pacing back and forth in the Oval Office in a way that aides described as “worrisome.”

“When he heard that [House Speaker John] Boehner and [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell liked his speech, he seemed to take that in stride,” the source said. “But this Limbaugh thing has pushed him over the edge.”

Dang Andy!! We better keep an eye on him. Approval from Limbarf is ample justification for suicide!

From Daily Kos: This week House Republicans are messing around with yet another bill that would do something to damage Obamacare. This time, they want to allow insurers to keep selling shitty policies that don’t cover all of the stuff that the law requires until 2019. Because what’s another five years of people being underinsured and going into bankruptcy because of it? While they’re dithering around with it, their most serious thinker on healthcare policy has been working on an actual plan that would replace Obamacare, in the event that Republicans could actually get their act together and achieve consensus on a plan.

But what Avik Roy, a writer at Forbes and the conservative Manhattan Institute and Mitt Romney’s healthcare advisor, has come up with looks an awful lot like Obamacare. Except for the part where it forces people off of Medicare and Medicaid and into the private market. And the part where it would no longer be the Affordable Care Act. So says the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik.

Click through for a more complete description. RepubliCare is a plan to die for.

From NY Times: Democrats have reversed the partisan imbalance on the federal appeals courts that long favored conservatives, a little-noticed shift with far-reaching consequences for the law and President Obama’s legacy.

For the first time in more than a decade, judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents. The Democrats’ advantage has only grown since late last year when they stripped Republicans of their ability to filibuster the president’s nominees.

Democratic appointees who hear cases full time now hold a majority of seats on nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals. When Mr. Obama took office, only one of those courts had more full-time judges nominated by a Democrat.

That’s great news. Now if only the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS, Republican Constitutional VD, would take a junket tour of Liberia!

Cartoon:

0915Cartoon

Share
Sep 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 146.  My day was thoroughly screwed up by another fire in the building at 4 AM.  An idiot left his apartment with food cooking on the stove and it caught fire.  It was actually on my floor, but I was never in any danger.  A firefighter was about to carry my walker down the stars for me, while I walked, when another came up and and told us it was already out.  I tried to go back to sleep, but could not, and I’ve been behind the eight ball all day.  Tomorrow is a Holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are worshiping with the Chiefs and the service will be televised here, so I’ll be spending much of tomorrow in Holy meditation.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Tired of seeing disgraced and discredited war hawks like John McCain and Dick Cheney dominate media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East? Then you’ve got to see Stephen’s segment last night.

Nostradumbass!! Perfect!! Let us remember that the agreement to withdraw US forces from Iraq, when we did, was negotiated by Bush, not by Obama.

From American Bridge PAC: American Bridge is releasing a new web ad today highlighting Scott Walker’s failed economic record.

The governor was once considered a frontrunner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, and his reelect was supposed to be a walk through the park en route to bigger and better things. Nobody is looking past November now, with Walker locked in the political fight of his life, and desperately trying to create the narrative that he’s led a triumphant comeback in the Badger State.

But that story is undermined by reality. The truth is that Walker rammed through an extreme overhaul of the budget that slashed education funding, attacked public employees, and gave massive tax cuts to the wealthy, all under the promise of job creation and balancing budgets. Well Wisconsin is last in the midwest in job growth and facing a $2 billion budget shortfall.

 

They certainly have the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan perfectly pegged. Click through for more.

From The New Yorker: Amid some confusion as to whether it had, in fact, declared war on ISIS, on Friday afternoon, the White House attempted to clarify matters by vowing to use “every synonym for war at our disposal.”

After the Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that the United States was not at war, only to be contradicted later by the White House’s statement that it was, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest held a press conference to state that “no synonyms for war have been taken off the table.”

“Yes, this is a war,” Earnest said. “But it is also a conflict, a campaign, a struggle, a fracas, and, if you will, a melee.”…

Andy is right. We should call it what it is.

Cartoon:

0914Cartoon

Share
Sep 132014
 

I’m writ5ing for tomorrow, day 145.  It’s late in the day.  After doing my research early this morning, I scheduled routine medical appointments through the middle of next month, cooked and cleaned, and took a cat nap.  Tomorrow I have some errands to run in the morning, but they should not interfere with blogging.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:40 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: There is a diary on the Rec List about a Wall Street Journal article detailing how those making $400,000/year can still feel like they are “just getting by”. http://www.dailykos.com/…

I am glad the WSJ is giving comfort to its target audience, reassuring those well within the 1% of annual income that it is okay if they feel they are struggling to get by. The purpose, IMO, is to assuage any potential feelings their readers might have toward those with less, because they, the members of the 1%, have it rough as well, so that the 1% can be justified in their dissatisfaction with how little they have.

Of course, what the article actually does is prove to us, those who are way down the income scale from these 1%ers, how little the WSJ actually cares about the vast majority of this country, and how as a newspaper its editorial purpose is to be a fluffer to the 1% and keep them insulated from the realities that most people in the country live with every minute of every day.

But the corollary story that the WSJ won’t touch is this: if it families making $400,000/yr are feeling like they are struggling, then how must 150 million people getting by on less than $50,000/yr feel? Where is the WSJ chart showing us the typical distribution of expenses for a family making less than $50 grand a year? Show us that chart WSJ, and then explain to us, since you advocate for cutting all programs that benefit or help support these people, exactly where the fat is in their budgets?

Is anyone surprised? Didn’t we all know that, when Murdoch took over, the WSJ would become the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Print?

From Upworthy: Just so we’re clear, alcohol and tobacco, which kill thousands of people every year? Legal. Marijuana, which has never killed a single person ever in recorded human history? Illegal. OK then.

 

Personally, I quit smoking the stuff over 30 years ago, but I have no objection to those who choose to smoke it. Smoking InsaniTEA, on the other hand, is hazardous to your nation.

From YouTube: How catnip gets cats high

See? Humans have pot, but we have our nip!!

Cartoon:

0913Cartoon

Share